Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton staged an internal battle in 2007 , the year they met at McLaren. The arguments between the two distracted the members of the team from the fight for the Formula 1 world championship, in which Kimi Raikkonen finally won with a point of advantage over Alonso and Hamilton. So toxic was the relationship between the two that the Spanish driver and McLaren decided to terminate their contract by mutual agreement at the end of the season. Still, as recognized by Fernando Alonso , his relationship with Lewis Hamilton is now ” colder than ever .”
Asked about this in an interview for PA News , the Asturian said: “We spoke in 2008, 2010 and 2011 and we were closer than ever during those years, because we understood that in 2007 we were not very well managed by our bosses. So we were both young and very competitive, the conclusion of 2007 was easy, we both respected each other and we understood each other a lot ”.
“Now we have this respectful relationship, but maybe it’s colder than it used to be. We have different opinions about different things and Lewis has a different lifestyle than some of us and that is what separates us, “added Fernando Alonso about a Hamilton who is increasingly involved in politics.
Alonso and the Hamilton fight
The British rider is now fighting for his eighth title and surpassing the seven that Michael Schumacher achieved. Although Fernando Alonso had previously opted for Verstappen in the fight he is waging with Lewis Hamilton , the Spaniard now prefers not to get wet. “In some races Mercedes has done well and in others Red Bull, but the fight is going to be decided in Abu Dhabi and this is how Formula 1 should be . It’s good for sports in general ”, he stated.
Fernando Alonso also gave his opinion on the arrival of George Russell to Mercedes. “In these two years that I have watched the races, George has done great things at Williams, but when it comes to fighting Lewis, I don’t know how it will go. Although George has done very well, Lewis is a legend, a great champion, it is never easy to beat him , regardless of your talent. He’s more even than Valtteri, but I think Lewis will be Mercedes’ preference at the start . “
His relationship with Hamilton stopped the arrival of Alonso to Mercedes
Although Hamilton has spoken of Bottas as the best teammate he has ever had in his career, as soon as Red Bull has managed to overshadow Mercedes , the German team has decided to give George Russell a chance in 2022. That option has already been there. on the table this season, although Toto Wolff ended up discarding it because, according to him, ” putting Hamilton and Russell together was a bit wild .”
Something similar argued to justify why his team never made a move for Alonso. “ If I put Mercedes aside, of course I would like to see Fernando Alonso in that car , and for the whole battle of 2007 to happen again. But from a team perspective that’s something that would never have worked . There is a story, in that year something particularly painful happened for Mercedes, for a part of Mercedes then ”, he admitted.
Norbert Haug, who was the coordinator of the McLaren team that season, spoke recently about the impossible coexistence between Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton. The German recalled on the official Formula 1 podcast, Beyond the grid , the controversial qualifying session for the 2007 Hungarian Grand Prix. Alonso , who was the driver who got pole, took long enough to leave Hamilton unable to complete your last lap. The latter denounced his own teammate and the Spaniard was sanctioned with five places; something that, in the end, was decisive in the fight for the championship.
“ We could have accomplished more , for sure. I mean, we could have easily done it without the Hungary episode in qualifying. I mean, we had various reasons why we lost the championship with both drivers and we were punished without the constructors’ title . And both drivers missed the title by one point, ”declared Norbert Haug.
“Sometimes Ron would attend the media and sometimes I would. It was my turn in Hungary. I looked like an idiot , of course. How could I explain things like that? It was clearly not our best ranking, but it was a remarkable moment indeed. If I wrote about it, it could be turned into a Hollywood movie, forget it, no one would believe it! ”, He acknowledged.
“Today I no longer suffer, but I suffered a lot then; normally you have to beat your rivals, not yourself , but to beat yourself is a lesson that I also learned: that hurts a thousand times as much as if you get into your own trajectory, but you can’t help it sometimes ”, he concluded.
The McLaren team did not know how to manage that situation and that is something to which Fernando Alonso recently attributed his bad relationship with Hamilton . “I don’t want to blame Ron Dennis, team principal in 2007, I don’t want to blame one name in particular, but as a team and as a management. We were too young, too ambitious and nobody guided us ”, he assured.